Why Oracle Continues to Be the Undisputed Leader of the DBMS Space

The DBMS (database management systems) space grew 8.7% to $35.9 billion and is expected to be a $50-billion market by 2017.

Anne Shields - Author

Nov. 19 2019, Updated 4:38 p.m. ET

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Significant growth expected in the DBMS space

In 2015, the DBMS (database management systems) space grew 8.7% to $35.9 billion. Search Datacenter, citing IDC, estimates stated that the space is expected to be a $50-billion market by 2017, as compared to the $40-billion market it was in 2015.

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Oracle leads DBMS space by wide margin

The above chart by DB engines shows the popularity of database engines. As you can see, Oracle continues to be the most popular choice.

DBMS is a concentrated space wherein the top three players—Oracle, IBM (IBM), and Microsoft (MSFT)—collectively held 89% market share in 2015, according to Gartner. But over the past five years, these three players have all lost market share. In 2011, they collectively held 91.4%, and this share has now dropped to 89%.

Among these players, Microsoft seems to be moving up in the same way it is in the cloud space. Since 2011, Oracle lost 1.5 points and now has a market share of 41.6%. However, it continues to lead the DBMS space. Microsoft gained 0.8 points and took second place with a market share of 19.4%. IBM lost 5.6 points and held 16.5% share.

Among all the DBMS vendors, Germany-based (EWG) SAP AG (SAP) enjoyed the strongest growth in 2015, primarily on the back of SAP HANA, according to Gartner. SAP’s (SAP) HANA is an in-memory computing appliance, and SAP’s cloud strategy revolves around its new flagship ERP (enterprise resource planning) platform and its SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA.


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